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New tricks for a robust centenarian

August 2008

Published in the August 2008 issue of Today’s Hospitalist

IT’S MORE THAN 100 YEARS OLD, and the name isn’t exactly synonymous with “sexy.” But The Merck Manual, which is still the world’s most widely used medical reference, is making an effort to move aggressively into its second century.

Known for its practical and concise approach to disease identification and treatment, The Merck Manual is now available in its latest iteration: as a PDA version that comes integrated with the Davis’s Drug Guide. The Manual now posts updates to its online versions “PDA, wireless and desktop “every two months, another new feature.

In addition, all of the online versions of The Merck Manual now incorporate hundreds of photos as well as audio, video and guideline links. Digital versions also contain the latest updates to the print version, which is in its 18th edition.

“One of our real advantages over almost everybody else is the concise way we approach treatment for working physicians,” says the Manual’s editor, Robert Porter, MD. “What is also unique is that The Merck Manual is more than general internal medicine.”

The latest edition, for example, includes topics of interest to hospitalists, including sections on critical care, pediatrics, psychiatry and the care of surgical patients.

The next frontier for the venerable product? Dr. Porter says that he is working with vendors to incorporate the Manual into electronic medical record systems.

More information about The Merck Manual is online.

The Merck Manual is moving aggressively into its second century.